Sea Glass Continues to Inspire – NEW twists on OLD materials!
See you in the coming weeks for two exciting Cape Ann Artisan events.
Every time someone walks into my studio and looks at my sea glass collection, a predictable question arises, “where do I get my sea glass?” In fact, I now respond by saying that I rarely collect any more. If I do, it’s generally on the way-off season. Except for the constant quest for the rarest of colors and sea pottery – an anchor of most of my designs – the inspiration comes from the sea glass itself that is sitting on my shelf.
In order to challenge my creative spirit, my goal is to find ways to use the wide variety of shapes and sizes in my collection. There’s considerable work involved in sorting by size, shape, color, and even texture. Older glass is actually easier to work with, airier, and a bit easier to drill. My collections have evolved each year by focusing on “like” pieces.
It took years for me to find a unique way to use the bottlenecks, for example. Pairing them with Beth Williams beautiful beads, the Bottleneck Beauty collection emerged. ￼
Large, heavier pieces have always challenged me. They are heavy, so you just cannot add more weight. That’s when I decided to use leather with sea glass and create a line around the pieces. The Line in the Sand Collection was unveiled at the show I created with artist friend Leslie Heffron at the Jane Deering Gallery in 2021. A huge benefit to this collection is that there is no metal touching skin, so that has an appeal to someone that has a metal allergy. They are also fun and funky pieces – great for a casual look.
Of late, I’ve had a lot of fun using half-bottle necks to create the Anchor Collection of lariats. I personally love these for their truly nautical them and flexibility. I wear mine all the time. Lariats clasp in the front with large clasps. They are much easier to work with as we begin to feel the challenge of hooking a small finding behind our head – something that happens to all of us eventually!
Years ago, I learned how to create cages around unusual shapes of sea glass at a workshop out in Snow Farm. I set that aside until quite recently when the shapes started to speak to me again! A few very long and solid pieces took on the look of lighthouses! Others just evolved based on their original nature – perfume bottles, bottoms of wine bottles turned upside down look like bells! Alas, the Woven Wonders collection can be seen as both lariats and necklaces.
Looking ahead toward next summer, the focus will be on my garden. The very largest of sea glass pieces will just not make the cut as jewelry. As I prepare to be part of the Generous Gardener’s tour in 2024, it occurred to me that my garden has to reflect my collective creative passions. From this exciting pursuit, I am now introducing sea glass stepping stones in my garden and if all goes well, I hope to have them available next spring for your garden too!
Please join me at two exciting events in the coming weeks. This SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 4-7 PM is the opening of our 40th Anniversary exhibition at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck. The current artisans are hosting a show with our past members whose work encompasses a wide variety of styles and media. Then the following weekend, please join me at the Sea Glass Studio to see all the work in person during our Fall Cape Ann Artisans Tour – October 7-8 10AM to 5PM.